NEW YORK, March 2 Morgan Stanley economists said
on Thursday they expected the Federal Reserve will raise U.S.
interest rates by a quarter point to a range of 0.75-1.00
percent at its upcoming policy meeting in less than two weeks.
The U.S. central bank would increase its interest rate
target range two more times later in 2017 after a possible hike
later this month, they said in a research note.
They forecast four rate hikes in 2018.
The economists' latest view on a March rate increase
followed remarks from New York Fed President William Dudley who
said on CNN on Tuesday that the case for a rate hike has become
"a lot more compelling."
This notion from Dudley, one of the most influential U.S.
central bankers, has been echoed by a number of Fed officials in
the past 48 hours.
On Thursday, Fed Governor Jerome Powell told CNBC the case
for a March rate increase has come together with domestic
inflation nearing the Fed's 2 percent goal.
The core rate on the personal consumption expenditure, the
Fed's preferred inflation gauge, showed a year-over-year
increase of 1.7 percent in January, the Commerce Department said
Morgan Stanley economists said the Fed will likely continue
its pace of rate increases with inflation remaining on its
upward path and looser financial conditions stemming from the
record run on Wall Street and low risk premiums in the corporate
(Reporting by Richard Leong; Editing by Frances Kerry and Chizu